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Heart Disease “ABCS”

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At Compass Community Health Care Center we are dedicated to providing the best health care possible. We are listening to our patients, families, and community with their health concerns and questions. Watch for #LiveWellWednesday posts each Wednesday evening, which focus on giving you the information and tips you need to understand current health care concerns and topics.

Today’s topic is Heart Disease ABCS, by Paul (PJ) Adkins, Compass Community Health Care Center Family Nurse Practitioner.

Heart disease and stroke are the first and fourth leading causes of death in the United States.  Together, these diseases cause 1 in 3 deaths.  The good news is that you can reduce your risk by following the ABCS! Following the ABCS is a way to help prevent the risk of heart disease and stroke.

 A=Aspirin

Take aspirin as directed by your health care professional.

Be sure to tell your health care professional if you have a family history of heart disease or stroke, and mention your own medical history.

B=Blood Pressure

Control your blood pressure.

Blood pressure measures the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries. If your blood pressure stays high for a long time, you may suffer from high blood pressure (also called hypertension). High blood pressure increases your risk for heart attack or stroke more than any other risk factor. Find out what your blood pressure numbers are, and ask your health care professional what those numbers mean for your health. If you have high blood pressure, work with your health care professional to lower it.

C=Cholesterol

Manage your cholesterol.

Cholesterol is a waxy substance produced by the liver and found in certain foods. Your body needs cholesterol, but when you have too much, it can build up in your arteries and cause heart disease. There are different types of cholesterol: One type is “good” and can protect you from heart disease, but another type is “bad” and can increase your risk. Talk to your health care professional about cholesterol and how to lower your bad cholesterol if it’s too high.

S=Smoking cessation

Don’t smoke.

Smoking raises your blood pressure, which increases your risk for heart attack and stroke. If you smoke, quit. Talk with your health care professional about ways to help you stick with your decision. It’s never too late to quit smoking. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW today.

High blood pressure is the leading cause of heart attack and stroke in the United States. It can also damage your eyes and kidneys. One in three American adults has high blood pressure, and only about half of them have it under control.

High blood pressure is the leading cause of heart attack and stroke in the United States. It can also damage your eyes and kidneys. One in three American adults has high blood pressure, and only about half of them have it under control.

How is blood pressure measured?

Two numbers (for example, 140/90) help determine blood pressure. The first number measures systolic pressure, which is the pressure in the blood vessels when the heart beats. The second number measures diastolic pressure, which is the pressure in the blood vessels when the heart rests between beats.

When and how should I take my blood pressure?

Take your blood pressure regularly, even if you feel fine. Generally, people with high blood pressure have no symptoms. You can take your blood pressure at home, at many pharmacies, and at your doctor’s office.

How can I control my blood pressure?

Work with your health care professional to make a plan for controlling your blood pressure. Be sure to follow these guidelines:

  1. Eat a healthy diet. Choose foods low in trans fat and sodium (salt). Most people in the United States consume more sodium than recommended. Everyone age 2 and up should consume less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium per day. Adults age 51 and older; African Americans of all ages; and people with high blood pressure, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease should consume even less than that: only 1,500 mg of sodium per day.
  2. Get moving. Staying physically active will help you control your weight and strengthen your heart. Try walking for 10 minutes, 3 times a day, 5 days a week.
  3. Take your medications. If you have high blood pressure, your health care professional may give you medicine to help control it. It’s important to follow your health care professional’s instructions when taking the medication and to keep taking it even if you feel well. Tell your health care professional if the medicine makes you feel bad. Your health care team can suggest different ways to reduce side effects or recommend another medicine that may have fewer side effects.

For additional information on this topic check out the American Heart Association at www.heart.org or to schedule an appointment with one of our providers, please contact our office 740-355-7102.                  #LiveWellWednesday             #CompassCares

Article information data compiled by the US Department of Health and Human Services.

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